'Congress Should Decide Its Own Role': Akhilesh Yadav Deals Blow To Opposition Unity Ahead Of 2024
Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday (19 March) asked the Congress party to decide what role it is going to play in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“Several regional parties and few other parties are trying to forge an alliance or a front. Mamata Banerjee is also making attempts in that direction, and so are the Chief Ministers of Telangana (Chandrashekhar Rao) and Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar)," Yadav said.
"Congress should decide its own role. Congress is a national party and we are regional parties,” he added.
He was speaking to journalists at the conclusion of the national executive meeting of his party in Kolkata on Sunday. He also met the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her residence in Kolkata on Friday (17 March).
He reaffirmed the decision to maintain equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP, just like Trinamool Congress (TMC).
He also spoke about his recent visit to Amethi, the family bastion of the Gandhi family and erstwhile constituency of Rahul Gandhi, which the BJP wrested in 2019 upon Smriti Irani’s win.
“I recently visited Amethi. Our workers said they always voted for the Congress but its leaders never helped them when they faced crises. Before the elections we will consult our workers and take a decision,” Yadav said at the meet.
The visit was seen by political observers as an indication that SP may field a candidate from the high-profile seat in the 2024 polls.
While the SP chief stated that the party’s goal is to defeat the BJP on all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the political fortunes of SP in UP look bleak for now.
While the party appears to be losing even its core Yadav and OBC voter base to the BJP’s Hindutva-development plank, it is struggling to attract voters from other caste groups.
Attempts at erecting a front against the BJP also appear to be going nowhere.
While opposition leaders from various state parties keep holding rallies from time to time, whether they are able to build a coherent narrative to counter Narendra Modi’s popularity remains to be seen.
The question of who would lead the said front is also open. Congress, which is often accused of playing spoilsports in alliances against the BJP, is being viewed with suspicion by most opposition leaders.
Congress leaders have, however, stated that no Opposition Front is possible without the Congress. The Trinamool Congress, on the other hand, has said that the Congress should not feel that they are the big boss of the opposition.
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